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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: Experimental Pragmatics and What Is said: A response to Gibbs and Moise.
Author: Steve Nicolle
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Africa International University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Pragmatics
Abstract: Gibbs and Moise (1997) present experimental results which, they claim, show that people recognise a distinction between what is said and what is implicated. They also claim that these results provide support for theories of utterance interpretation (such as Relevance Theory) which recognise that pragmatic processes are involved not only in understanding what is implicated but also in working out what is said (the ‘explicature’). We attempted to replicate some of these experiments and also adapted them. Our results fail to confirm Gibbs and Moise’s claims. Most significantly, they show that, under certain conditions, subjects select implicatures when asked to select the paraphrase that best reflects what a speaker has said. We suggest that our results can be explained within the framework of Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson 1986) if we assume that subjects select the paraphrase that comes closest to achieving the same set of communicated contextual effects as the original utterance. When an utterance gives rise to a single strong implicature, subjects tend to select this as the paraphrase that best reflects what is said; in other cases (for example in Gibbs & Moise’s stimuli) subjects tend to select the explicature.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Cognition 69: 337-354.


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